Marbleized Tea Eggs
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Marbleized Tea Eggs

Difficulty Level

Ingredients

  • 6 medium or 8 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. thin (regular) soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. black (thick) soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 whole star anise, broken into 16 individual points
  • 2 Tbsp. black tea leaves plus 1 two-inch length cinnamon stick, crumbled,
  • plus 1 thumb-sized piece fresh or home-dried orange or tangerine peel,
  • white pith removed
  • or
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon or orange-spiced black tea leaves
  • 4 teaspoons Constant Comment spiced tea leaves

Instructions

Begin 12 hours to 1 1/2 full days in advance of serving. Put eggs and salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Cover with a generous amount of cold water, then bring to a near boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, then cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Drain, then rush eggs under cold water and let them sit in a cold bath until cool. Using the back of a heavy spoon, tap a network of fine cracks over surface of each egg, cradling egg in your palm and turning gently as you tap. Don't tap too hard. But if you do and the shell comes off, don't worry--it will just be dark, a nice contrast to the marbled eggs. Return the eggs carefully to a heavy pot that will hold them snugly. Add the steeping ingredients and 3 cups cold water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over high heat, stir near top of liquid to submerge tea leaves, then reduce heat to maintain a steaming, weak simmer. Cover the pot tightly and simmer 3 hours. Check periodically to see that the eggs remain almost covered and add water if needed. Do not add too much, lest you dilute the infusion. Swirl the pot several times while cooking to distribute liquids over the eggs. After three hours, turn off the heat. let the eggs steep in the covered pot at room temperature for at least 8 hours, or for as long as 1 1/2 days. The longer they sit, the richer the flavor and the darker the color. Eggs may be eaten tepid, at room temperature, or chilled. Just before serving, peel eggs carefully and remove any clinging membrane. Cut in half or quarters if you wish, and arrange. Store unpeeled eggs in their shells, refrigerated and tightly sealed. Store leftover peeled eggs in refrigerator, sealed airtight. Tea eggs will keep 4-5 days.

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